Jennifer 8. Lee
|Jennifer 8. Lee|
March 15, 1976
New York, New York, U.S.
|Ethnicity||American of Chinese/Taiwanese descent|
|Notable credit(s)||The New York Times|
Jennifer 8. Lee (Chinese name: simplified Chinese: 李竞; traditional Chinese: 李競; pinyin: Lǐ Jìng) (born March 15, 1976) is an American journalist who previously worked for The New York Times. She is also the co-founder and President of the literary studio Plympton.
Early life and education
Lee was born on March 15, 1976 in New York City, to immigrants from Kinmen, an island off the coast of China's Fujian province. Lee was not given a middle name at birth so she chose "8." when she was a teenager. In Chinese culture, the number eight symbolizes prosperity and good luck. She graduated from Hunter College High School in Manhattan in 1994. She graduated from Harvard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1999 with a degree in applied mathematics and economics.
While a student at Harvard, Lee was the vice president of the Harvard Crimson. She interned at The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, Newsday and The New York Times during college. She joined the Times in 2001, one and a half years after graduating from Harvard.
Lee wrote a book about the history of Chinese food in the United States and around the world, titled The Fortune Cookie Chronicles, documenting the process on her blog. She reported the unlikely, but true, story of how a batch of fortune cookies created 110 Powerball lottery winners. To the surprise of many non-Chinese readers, she reported that fortune cookies are found in many countries but not China and that fortune cookies may have originated in Japan. Warner Books editor Jonathan Karp struck a deal with Lee to write a book about "how Chinese food is more all-American than apple pie." She appeared on the Colbert Report to promote the book. The book was #26 on the New York Times Best Seller list.
In December 2009, Lee accepted a buyout, that is, when an employer may "buy out" an employee's contract by making a single prepayment, so as to have no ongoing obligation to employ the person, from the New York Times after the organization offered buyouts to all newsroom staff in October 2009 as part of an attempt to cut 100 newsroom positions due to budget cuts.
Lee has served on the advisory panel for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation's "News Challenge", and has assisted the whistleblowing site WikiLeaks, dealing with the press and with social networking sites. She helped the organization with its April 2010 release of a video showing the July 12, 2007 Baghdad airstrike. Lee serves on the Board of Directors of the Center for Public Integrity, the Advisory Board of the Nieman Foundation, and the Asian American Writers' Workshop.
In 2011, Lee and fellow writer Yael Goldstein Love founded a literary studio named Plympton, Inc. The studio focuses on publishing serialized fiction for digital platforms. Its first series launched in September 2012 as part of the Kindle Serials program.
- "Jennifer 8. Lee Taking Times Buyout". New York Observer. December 9, 2009. Retrieved June 11, 2012.
- "Our Team | Plympton". Retrieved 26 October 2012.
- "Ask a Reporter: Jennifer 8. Lee". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-05-07.
- Lee, Jennifer 8. (2008). The Fortune Cookie Chronicles. New York, NY: Twelve Books. ISBN 0-446-69897-0. OCLC 225870250.
- Horne, Jim (November 22, 2008). "Lucky Number 8". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-01-02.
- Lee, Jennifer 8. "Someone added my Chinese name to my Wikipedia entry in simplified :( form" The Fortune Cookie Chronicles. March 17, 2008.
- Lee, Jennifer 8. "Yes, 8 is my middle name." Boston Globe. August 8, 1996. Page E1.
- Jennifer 8. Lee (May 11, 2005). "Who Needs Giacomo? Bet on the Fortune Cookie". New York Times.
- Jennifer 8. Lee (January 16, 2008). "Solving a Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery Inside a Cookie".
- 8. Lee, Jennifer (January 16, 2008). "Fortune Cookies are really from Japan.". The Fortune Cookie Chronicles.
- "Jennifer 8. Lee Attracts Americans with Chinese Food", October 13, 2008. Source: Xinhua/Translated by womenofchina.cn
- "Jennifer 8. Lee on The Colbert Report on Tuesday, March 4th, 2008"
- "Best Sellers, Hardcover Nonfiction, March 30, 2008"
- "The New York Times Buyout List (Updated)". Gawker. December 7, 2009. Retrieved June 11, 2012.
- WikiLeaks questions why it was rejected for Knight grant Yahoo! News, 17 June 2010
- Clint Hendler: WikiLeaks Releases Video Showing Death of Reuters Staff Columbia Journalism Review April 05, 2010
- "Board of Directors". Center for Public Integrity. Retrieved June 10, 2012.
- "About The Foundation | Advisory Board". The Nieman Foundation for Journalism. Retrieved 26 October 2012.
- "Read the Margins - About". Read the Margins. Asian American Writers' Workshop. Retrieved 26 October 2012.
- Denison, D.C. (September 8, 2012). "Boston literary start-up lands Amazon deal". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 26 October 2012.
- Bosman, Julie (September 30, 2012). "E-Books Expand Their Potential With Serialized Fiction". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 October 2012.
- Jennifer 8. Lee Attracts Americans with Chinese Food, October 13, 2008. Source: Xinhua/Translated by womenofchina.cn